Feeling bloated is not fun. it’s uncomfortable, sometimes painful, frustrating and can even affect your overall health, wellbeing and self esteem. If are sick of feeling uncomfortable in the tummy and looking like you are expecting then try these simple How to Beat the Bloat tips:
1. Keep stressors and negative emotions at bay: Your gut is VERY sensitive to what is going on in your life mentally and emotionally. Negative emotions and stress are two big triggers for an upset tummy. Generally, when we find ourselves in a specific stressful situation (a work deadline, an argument with our partner) we’re aware of the tension, physically and mentally. But sometimes, the stress or negativity goes unnoticed or is unconsciously buried deep into our subconscious to protect us from the pain and discomfort. When this happens, your bloating becomes a way for your body to communicate with you. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you holding on to emotions, such as fear and anger, and accumulating them instead of digesting them? Take some time to honestly look at what is going on in your life on a deeper level than just what sort of food you’re eating. There might be a very powerful message behind your bloating that you are unaware of.
2. Connect with your digestive system while eating: When you’re feeling stressed, upset or rushed, your nervous system goes into fight-or-flight mode. Stress hormones are high and blood flow to your gut is reduced, which makes your digestive fire weaker and your digestion slower. As food is not properly digested, fermentation and bloating often occur. To avoid this from happening, always eat in a quiet environment. Sit down and take a few deep belly breaths. Never eat standing, at your desk or while checking your phone. To give your digestive system all the support it needs to optimally digest the food, be mindful of the food you’re eating and the amazing process happening in your body. Start by thoroughly chewing your food. We’ve all heard that digestion starts in the mouth, yet very few of us chew their food properly. This advice alone could greatly reduce your bloating! You can find out more about this in my Heal Your Gut eBook which also includes 60 recipes to beat the bloat and heal your gut for good. Eat slowly and put your fork down after each bite. Eating quickly causes more air to be sucked into your stomach, resulting in gas and bloating.
3. Avoid these common – yet very often overlooked – culprits:
Drinking too much water while eating: I’m a fierce advocate of listening to your body cues so I’ll never tell you to not drink if you’re thirsty. However, try and avoid gulping down large amounts of water whilst eating, as it will dilute your digestive enzymes, making your digestion weaker and bloating more likely to occur.
Chewing gum: Chewing gum leads to swallowing air, which can cause bloating, it’s as simple as that. Plus, sugar-free gums are usually packed with sugar alcohol, like maltitol, sorbitol and xylitol, which are notorious for causing gas.
Drinking through a straw: Again, this causes excess air to be swallowed.
Not soaking your nuts, seeds, grains and pulses: Raw nuts, seeds, grains and pulses all contain enzyme inhibitors, which impair digestion and block the absorption of many nutrients (such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc). Soaking your nuts, seeds, legumes and grains overnight in some water with either apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and Sea Salt will make them easier to digest and less gas-producing. Store your soaked nuts and seeds in your freezer in an airtight container and eat your grains and pulses in the next couple of days, as they will mold quickly otherwise.
Eating fruit at the end of a meal: Fruit is digested very quickly, much faster than anything else that we eat, especially animal protein, dairy and grains. So, if you eat an apple after chicken and/or rice for example, it will be digested before the protein and grain, which means that the digested apple will sit on top of everything else and ferments while your body is busy digesting the rest of your meal, creating, you guessed it, gas and bloating. So try and have your fruit on an empty stomach instead: first thing in the morning or as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack
Eating processed foods: Processed and packaged foods, also known as frankenfoods, are full of chemicals, preservatives, dyes and other ingredients that our digestive systems aren’t used to and don’t know how to process. Gums and thickeners (Carageenan, xantham gum and guar gum), in particular, are hidden everywhere and can cause GI distress because they alter the balance of gut flora and are highly fermentable.
4. Foods to avoid to help Beat the Bloat:
Fructose: Found in honey, apples, mangos, pears, watermelon and high-fructose corn syrup.
Fructans: Found in artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, garlic (in large amounts), leek, onion, radicchio lettuce, spring onion (white part), wheat and rye in large amounts (pasta, breads, biscuits and cereals).
Lactose: Found in milk, ice-cream, custard, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, soft unripened cheese and margarine.
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS): Found in legume beans (baked beans, kidney beans, borlotti beans), lentils and chickpeas.
Polyols: Found in apples, apricots, avocados, cherries, lychees, nectarines, pears, plums, prunes, mushrooms and additives sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967) and maltitol (965).
5. Beat the Bloat Daily Food Inspiration:
Fruit smoothie (with bananas or strawberries, yoghurt and lite or lactose-free milk).
Wheat-free cereal with strawberries and lite or lactose-free milk.
Poached eggs and grilled tomatoes on wheat-free bread.
Wheat-free bread with peanut butter or butter and natural berry jam.
Two-egg omelette with spinach and tomato and a slice of wheat-free bread.
Sweet potato, blue cheese, spinach and egg frittata.
Toasted ham and cheese sandwich (with wheat-free bread) and side salad (tomato, lettuce, capsicum).
Sliced beef, cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwich on wheat-free bread.
Chicken, vermicelli noodle and vegetable soup.
Grilled fish and roast vegetable salad.
Olive and eggplant foccacia.
Grilled salmon with sweet chilli sauce and salad (lettuce, cucumber, green capsicum).
Beef meatballs with mash potatoes and side salad (tomato, lettuce, capsicum).
Risotto with chicken breast, baby spinach, tomatoes, parmesan and parsley.
Gluten-free pasta with lemon juice, spinach and bocconcini.
Barbecued paprika calamari with salad (lettuce, cucumber, capsicum, snow pea sprouts).
Fruit salad of banana, berries, grapes, honeydew melon and pineapple.
Slices of carrot, celery, capsicum and cucumber.
Two rice cakes with a slice of cheese and tomato.
Handful of mixed nuts and seeds.
One boiled egg.
Half a cup of unsalted popcorn.
Natural yoghurt (lactose-free if necessary) with berries.
There are many other potential causes for your bloating, such as food intolerances, candida, SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) and parasites. Try these simple tips and if you are still suffering with bloating after all this make sure you book an appointment to see your local doctor.
“Beat the Bloat & Feel Great in the Tummy again” Spa it girl xoxo